The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has revised Iran-related frequently asked questions (FAQs) to clarify that the sanctions authorized against the Iranian construction, mining, manufacturing and textiles sectors, among others, will not target Iranian manufacturers of medicines, medical devices, or products used for sanitation or hygiene or as personal protective equipment, solely for use in Iran.  Specifically, FAQs 830, 831, 832 and 847 provide that OFAC sanctions will not target persons engaging in significant transactions in goods or services in any of these sectors “that ensure the protection of life and prevention of injuries” in Iran.

President Trump’s January 10, 2020 Executive Order 13902 authorized sanctions against any persons or entities that knowingly engage in a significant transaction for the sale, supply or transfer to or from Iran of significant goods or services used in connection with Iranian entities designated by OFAC in these sectors of the Iranian economy, as well as any persons or entities who may materially assist, sponsor or provide financial, material or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to OFAC. For more information on this Executive Order, see update dated January 13, 2020.

In FAQ 830, OFAC provides that EO 13902 sanctions will not target the following as long as it is solely for use in Iran and not for export from Iran:

  1. Iranian manufacturers of medicines, medical devices, or products used for sanitation, hygiene, medical care, medical safety, and manufacturing safety, including soap, hand sanitizer, ventilators, respirators, personal hygiene products, diapers, infant and childcare items, personal protective equipment, and manufacturing safety system; or
  2. Persons conducting or facilitating transactions for the provision of such items to Iran, even if the transactions involve persons designated pursuant to EO 13902.

Similarly, FAQ 831 defines the sectors targeted by EO 13902 and excludes such persons and activity from the definition of the “manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy” and FAQ 832 excludes them from the definition of “goods or services used in connection with” the construction, mining, manufacturing and textile sectors of Iran.

With respect to transactions or activities by foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and other non-U.S. persons involving Iranian financial institutions sanctioned solely pursuant to EO 13599, FAQ 847 provides that the following categories are “non-sanctionable”:

  1. The sale, supply, or transfer of goods and services to Iran – as well as intermediate goods used for manufacturing of such goods in Iran – solely for use in Iran and not for export from Iran, to ensure the protection of life, health, and safety, such as: products used for sanitation, hygiene, medical care, medical safety, and manufacturing safety, including soap, hand sanitizer, ventilators, respirators, personal hygiene products, diapers, infant and childcare items, personal protective equipment, manufacturing safety systems, safety devices, alarm systems, and ventilation systems.
  2. Arrangement and facilitation of travel into, out of, and within Iran, by air, sea, or land, including travel service providers and air carrier services;
  3. The provision of medical or healthcare services to persons in Iran or ordinarily resident in Iran; and
  4. The provision of educational services by academic institutions outside Iran to persons in Iran or ordinarily resident in Iran.

Nevertheless, these transactions and activities may be sanctionable if they involve persons designated on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List) in connection with Iran’s support for international terrorism or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), unless exempt or otherwise permitted.